An Ohio Amish girl will probably not have to take chemotherapy after all. A guardian which was appointed by the Ohio courts to force the 11-year-old who has leukemia to begin again with chemotherapy has dropped the effort. The child and her parents fled away from their home in order to avoid the cancer treatment.
The move was filed in Ohio court on Friday and should end a months-long fight that was going on between Sarah Hershberger’s parents and a hospital which had started when her family decided to stop the chemotherapy because it was making the girl ill.
The guardian, which was also a lawyer and also a registered nurse, was given power to make medical choices for Sarah after an appeals court ruled in October that the convictions and beliefs and convictions of the girl’s parents did not outweigh the state’s rights to try and safeguard the child.
However, the caretaker, Maria Schimer, decided to let the case drop because she has no idea where Sarah has disappeared to. It is now impossible to try and watch the girl’s health or even make any sort of medical decisions, stated an attorney for Schimer. It just does not make any sense to allow this to go on any longer. It just seems better to go ahead and decide that the Amish Girl probably will not have to go through with taking the chemotherapy.
Numerous doctors who are located at the Akron Children’s Hospital thought that the child’s leukemia was treatable, but they said she will die within a year if she continues to stop the chemotherapy. The hospital took the family to court after the parents decided to stop treatment and instead try to treat Sarah with natural remedies, such as vitamins and herbs.
The girl’s father explained that the family did not oppose any modern type medicine and that they did not make their final decision on any religious reasoning. They stopped the chemotherapy because it was taking way too much out of their daughter and she was in fear that it would cause her to become infertile.
Sarah and her family abandoned their home in rural Ohio just a few days before the state appeals court permitted the guardian to overtake the medical decisions. The family left the county in the latter part of September before they returned to an unnamed location which was outside the state of Ohio.
When Schimer tried to meet with Sarah’s family, she was turned down. This helped her make her decision, but it still has to have final approval from an Ohio county court.
A judge approving such a resignation will allow the family to be able to come home. This will also allow Sarah to have the family’s chosen treatment under the best conceivable conditions, stated an attorney for the Hershberger family.
The girl’s last known chemotherapy treatment was back in June of this year, but she has gone through numerous alternative-therapy treatments and is said to be doing well, according to her family.
Regardless, hospital officials stated that they have said they are both legally and also morally obligated to try and make sure the girl has received the correct care. They explained that Sarah’s cancer, lymphoblastic lymphoma, is a very aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but it has a high survival rate when it has the proper treatment.
Regardless of this, the girl does not want the treatment and so she probably will not have to take the chemotherapy.
By Kimberly Ruble